[11] Here We Go Magic, ‘Collector’

Here We Go Magic

“It’s got fast and slow singing and I give it 7/10,” confirms Junior. I might as well not turn up. Still, while I’ve got a moment – this is the sort of sunshine West Coast pop that makes you sound like The Thrills if you’re rubbish. Happily, Here We Go Magic are a bit different, giving ‘Collector’ a lick of pace and some tremendous wordless flutter at the end that’s unspeakably beautiful, but I’ve just tried anyway.

On their debut last year, singer Luke Temple sounded a lot more like Paul Simon. What changed? I suspect the arrival on the New York scene of son Harper Simon, drastically cramping the space for “people who sound like Paul Simon”. Perhaps there was some litigation. One to ponder.

[18] Vampire Weekend, ‘A-Punk’

Vampire Weekend

So the critics’ choice of 2008 was a bunchy of preppy American lads doing a Strokesian (look it up) take on Paul Simon’s Graceland. You could’ve seen that coming a mile off. What should’ve been arch, alienating, irritating, pompous, Sting-esque and – frankly – an utter mess, turned out to be the most delightful set of pop tunes since The Sound Of Girls Aloud. That good. ‘A-Punk’ happens to be one of the more conventional arrangements on the album, but it’s so infectious I’m taking the rest of the week off.

You have to catch Junior in the mood and – whereas she usually spins out to all things VW – this time she sat on the rug and asked for, yes, Girls Aloud. She’ll have to wait, probably. If it’s any consolation, Juniorer rocked from side to side, bang on the beat.